Transformational Leadership Consultants

By Mostafa Sayyadi

Management has been highlighted as an authority relationship to maintain the status quo through coordinating and controlling subordinate activities. This is where scholars part ways. Once the status quo is mentioned, it appears that management is stagnant and overly consuming in nature. It is not, management and leadership are one in the same and to be a good manager a person has to also be a good leader.

The following table summarizes some distinctions between leadership and management that have been posited by scholars over the past ten years or so by very prominent academics. The table indicates a dichotomy of management and leadership but anyone can see that being both is much more important than being simply one or the other.

Leadership Management
doing the right things doing things right
coaching evaluating
taking a proactive approach taking a reactive approach
having a long-term perspective having a short-term perspective
enhancing trust controlling subordinates
Innovating performing functions
focusing on people focusing on structure
challenging norms maintaining the status quo

The table above is an important to show the highlights of leadership versus management but there are times when everything in the table on both sides are important functions of managers. Although the current definitions on the concept of leadership and management are somewhat different, these idealized definitions provide various viewpoints about leadership that could positively contribute to define the concept of leadership. Let us now define this thing called leadership as influenced interactions with groups of followers to implement changes and achieve the determined goals. That definition sounds a lot like management and it should be because as mentioned earlier, leadership is a function of management. This controversy among academics has taken on new form. Scholars are experts in management and leadership but very few take pride in being scholars of both except for Fayol who would fall into the category of a management historian.

The true basis of leadership was built upon a model that generated two sides of an X and Y axis. On one side is the concept of leadership that creates change through taking a process-oriented and the other as more of a relationship-oriented approach.

While transactional leadership involves determining the tasks, rewarding goal achievement, and punishing failure in attaining goals, transformational leadership focuses on the critical human assets such as commitment and thus helps followers to effectively implement organizational changes with both efficiency and effectiveness. Just as leaders need to be both autocratic and democratic at times they also need to be both transactional and transformational at times also.

Executives recognize the importance of transformational leadership. In an effort to grasp the knowledge of executives worldwide, AESC surveyed business leaders to identify the current and new challenges by 2025. The results highlighted the significant role of leadership for organizations and confirmed that business leaders identified leadership development as one of the main areas for using an outside consultant.

Executives can be made into leaders and leaders can become better at what they do by using the four techniques of transformational leadership. These four techniques include:

  1. Idealized influence,
  2. Individualized consideration,
  3. Intellectual stimulation, and;
  4. Inspirational motivation.

In doing idealized influence, transformational leadership consultants can help executives to take the following actions:

  1. Instill pride in organizational members for being associated with them.
  2. Display a sense of power and confidence.
  3. Go beyond self-interest for the good of the organization.
  4. Talk about their most important values and beliefs.
  5. Consider the moral and ethical consequences of decisions.
  6. Emphasize the importance of having a collective sense of mission.

In doing individualized consideration, transformational leadership consultants can help executives to take the following actions:

  1. Spend time coaching others.
  2. Consider employees as having different needs, abilities, and aspirations from others.
  3. Help organizational members to develop their strengths, and provide various formal training programs to improve the performance of duties

In doing intellectual stimulation, transformational leadership consultants can help executives to take the following actions:

  1. Emphasis on the effective coordination among different functional areas, and seek differing perspectives when solving problems.
  2. Suggest new ways of looking at how to complete assignments, and undertake a comprehensive analysis when confront with an important decision.

In doing inspirational motivation, transformational leadership consultants can help executives to take the following actions:

  1. Talk optimistically about the future
  2. Talk enthusiastically about what needs to be accomplished.
  3. Express confidence that the goals will be achieved.

The key take-away for management consultants throughout Canada and across the globe is that transformational leadership consulting has increasingly become one of the most dominant paradigms today and will be used by many companies around the globe in the next five years.

Mostafa Sayyadi is with the Institute of Management Consultants, Victoria, Australia